California

Gary Burgett and his brother Kirk established PianoDisc out of their piano retail store in Sacramento, California in the late 1970s. Gary was a pianist and music teacher with a successful studio of his own, and Kirk was a skilled piano technician and rebuilder. The store, Burgett Pianos, sold a...
Joe Campana returned from serving in World War II to his native Oakland, California, with a dream-–and the GI Bill. While taking business classes, Joe established Campana Music in nearby Lafayette in 1947. The store began offering music lessons and repairs along with a large range of musical...
Toby Capalbo formed La Habra Music in Southern California back in 1960. Over the years he built up strong relations with local band directors and created a popular lesson program. When Toby started, the big craze was accordions and he worked hard to bring his customers the high quality products...
Perry Capalbo spent many years working with his dad, Nate, at the family music store, Downey Music.  Downey Music was opened by Nate Capalbo when he left La Habra Music, which was founded by his brother, Toby Capalbo, who was interviewed by the NAMM Oral History program in 2010.  Perry and his...
Mike Capalbo worked as manager at Downey Music which was started by his dad, Nate Capalbo.  The family owned and operated, Downey Music was established in 1952 when Nate left La Habra Music.  Mike recalls how his father, Nate, used his passion for music and some financial help from his parents, to...
Curt Carter was in the right place at the right time. As a piano dealer, he watched the boom of the home market explode during the late 1960s and 70s. He pooled his resources, teamed with organ suppliers and established Organ Exchange. The chain of retail stores, particularly those which dominated...
Ruth Charles and her husband Dick opened a music store in Glendale, California, called Charles Music. They enjoyed a long life together as music makers and teachers and retailers of musical products. The couple pioneered many products in the southern California area including those of Yamaha and...
Gary Chen is the owner of Stein On Vine, the historic horn and string shop in Hollywood, California whose customer list reads like a who's who of jazz and film music.  Gary was hired by the founder, Maury Stein, the brother of famed songwriter Julie Stein.  Maury had developed a wonderful...
Del Courtney was among the most popular Big Band leaders of the golden age of swing. Getting his start in the Al Hill Orchestra, Del soon found fame when he formed his own band at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, Calif., in 1939. He established himself as "The Old Smoothie" and created a band ideal...
Brian Crewe fully embraced the benefits of having an organ in the home. As an industry veteran who played a vital role in the boom of the home organ, Brian has outlined several plans that he hopes can bring back the popularity of the home organ. As a performer, Brian played for the National...

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